Science and Tech


Twitter Rumored To Be Testing 'Edit' Feature

An exclusive report by journalist Matthew Keys says the social media company may soon give users a chance to fix those typos.
Posted at 10:32 PM, Dec 16, 2013

​If you’re on Twitter you’ve likely made this mistake: just seconds after posting your carefully-crafted tweet, you notice a glaring typo — and have to delete the old tweet and replace it. Well, according to one source, Twitter may soon have a work around.

The claim comes from an exclusive report by internet journalist Matthew Keys, who, citing anonymous sources identifying as Twitter employees, says the company is now working on a feature that will let users edit and update tweets after posting.

It would reportedly work like this.

After tweeting a message, you would be given a set amount of time to make “slight changes” to the content. This could include removing words or correcting typos — and the change would be reflected in all retweets. (Via Twitter)

But you would only get one chance to edit your tweet — and, even then you wouldn’t be able to make drastic changes. (Via WNYW)

According to the report, there might be a good reason for that.

Keys writes, “Twitter wants users to be able to edit a tweet without changing the overall purpose — in other words, Twitter doesn’t want a user to post a news story, accumulate a large amount of re-tweets, and then change the tweet to display a promotion or advertisement.” (Via The Desk)

That sounds like a good plan, but it may be easier said than done. The report says the site is trying to develop an editorial algorithm that would detect when a user was attempting to change the intention of a tweet — though how it would do that is not yet known.

Once the “editorial algorithm” is in place, the report says the new feature would roll out to select partners for testing, perhaps in the next few weeks. (Via Ad AgeTechCrunch

But, if you're excited for the change, CNET says don't hold your breath. Also citing Twitter sources, it reports, "an edit option is not something Twitter is paying attention to right now.​"

If the change is, in fact, in the works, it’s likely in response to Twitter's reputation for being a place misleading information can spread quickly.

Like in 2011, when NPR erroneously tweeted that Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords had died after being shot in a Tucson shopping center.

Twitter wouldn’t confirm or deny the reported new feature. Fox News quoted a spokeswoman said, "We don't comment on what we are or aren't working on."